Thousands of Star Wars fans ran a 4.3-mile night race in Brazil's business capital Sao Paulo on Saturday (28 November) featuring Princess Leias and Darth Vaders from all parts of the country.

The runners could choose between competing for the dark side of the Force or the Jedi Order, represented by black or white shirts handed out by organisers. The more enthusiastic fans wore costumes and held lightsabers as they trotted down one of the city's main roads, which closed for the event.

Among the Luke Skywalkers, Han Solos and Chewbaccas, the force was strongest with Zenaide Vieira and Andre Alberi, who both won medals after crossing the finish line in less than 25 minutes. Flavio Roberto, a 32-year-old triathlon competitor and fan of the George Lucas saga, was excited to be able to run as Darth Vader.

"I'm a triathlon athlete and I'm here with my friends who also love Star Wars. It's pleasure to run at night in this race. This is a character that I really like because although he is on the dark side of the force, he is also a good man, so he is my favourite character of the saga," he said.

The saga's new film The Force Awakens will open in cinemas on 17 December, being the first of three new Star Wars movies being produced by Disney since it purchased Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4.05bn (£2.7bn).